US bishops’ conference to vote on president, action items at fall meeting

USCCB general assembly Nov 12 2018 Credit Christine rousselle CNA CNA 1 The USCCB fall general assembly in Baltimore, Nov. 12, 2018. | Christine Rousselle/CNA.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be electing a new president, vice president, and committee chairs, and will vote on seven action items during the upcoming Fall General Assembly.

A total of 10 archbishops and bishops are listed on the presidential ballot: Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services, Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit.

After the president is elected with a simple minority, the remaining nine candidates will be eligible for vice president. Typically, the current vice president is voted as the next president. That position is presently held by Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles.

In addition to the presidential and vice-presidential elections, the bishops will also elect new chairmen for six of the conference's committees: Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Evangelization and Catechesis; International Justice and Peace; Protection of Children and Young People; and Religious Liberty.

Those who are elected to a position of leadership will serve a three-year term. For all of the committees except Religious Liberty, the newly-elected chairman will serve for one year as chairman-elect and will officially become the new chairman at next year's Fall General Assembly. The person who is elected to lead the Religious Liberty committee will immediately become chairman as the position is currently vacant due to Archbishop Joseph Kurtz's battle with cancer.

The Board of Directors for Catholic Relief Services will also be elected at the General Assembly.

During the meeting, the bishops will vote to approve the sixth edition of the Program of Priestly Formation, which will be used throughout the United States. They will also vote on whether to approve a letter and five video scripts that will accompany the teaching document "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," which advises American Catholics about how to be a responsible citizen when it comes to voting.

Bishops will also vote to approve the Revised Strategic Priorities for the upcoming Strategic Plan cycle, which lasts from 2021-2024, and will vote to approve the proposed budget for 2020.

Latin Church bishops and archbishops will vote on approving two new English translations that were written by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. If approved, the new translation of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults and a new translation of Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours will be used across the United States.

Additionally, the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs will seek the authorization of the bishops to start the process to develop a response to the V Encuentro process. This should be completed and approved by 2024.

The Fall General Assembly will be held Nov. 11-13 in Baltimore.

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